Carrie Rengers

Athleta to open at Bradley Fair on Monday

The new Athleta store opens at Bradley Fair on Monday.
The new Athleta store opens at Bradley Fair on Monday. The Wichita Eagle

The new Athleta store at Bradley Fair will open its doors on Monday and have a grand opening on Sept. 28.

The athletic-wear chain, which the Gap owns, is opening in almost 3,000 square feet on the north end of the same building where the Gap is located. The 12,000-square-foot building is between Pottery Barn and Chico’s.

“Gap opened at Bradley Fair in 1994 and has continued to evolve the store with new concepts,” says Amy Liebau, spokeswoman for Bradley Fair developer Laham Development.

Athleta is one of the two giants of women’s athletic wear, along with Lululemon Athletica, which is another recent entry to the Wichita market.

Athleta specializes in athletic clothing, such as yoga pants and hiking and running outfits, for women. Its clothing is designed for actual workouts – not just, say, for everyday wear like yoga pants can sometimes be – with details such as pockets to use while running.

The chain offers more than that, though, Liebau says. She says the store has been highly requested in part because of the wide range of things it offers.

“They don’t just sell activewear,” Liebau says. “They deliberately sell a broader range of products with the goal of filling a larger percentage of the customer’s closet versus just what she’s going to wear to yoga or to go running.”

The chain has a new motto of sorts – “power of she” – as part of an effort to empower women.

“Athleta’s all about inspiring women and girls to be the best version of themselves, no matter how big or small their goal is,” says Moriah Birkle, the new store’s general manager.

Athleta’s trend recently has been to open new stores next to Gap stores. Athleta has its own entrance, and the two stores are separated by a wall. They do not have a door between them.

Liebau says the store will offer more than clothing. She says it will have fitness classes and work with groups to have other events at Bradley Fair.

“We think they’ll bring a lot of excitement to the center.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers